If you have an extremely high level of cholesterol, or hypercholesterolemia, the levels of cholesterol in your blood stream are considered to be abnormally high. These high levels of cholesterol are considered to be a huge risk factor for possible occurrences of heart disease or stroke.
Having your cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis will provide early warning signs for possible health problems down the road. High cholesterol may be part of the overall health history of your family which means you may want to check with family members in order to determine if they also have abnormally high cholesterol.
High Cholesterol is Dangerous and Has no Symptoms
High cholesterol does not show up like the typical diseases or medical condition because there are really no visible outward signs or symptoms that can warn you of possible problems. While cholesterol is needed for healthy cells, abnormally high levels of cholesterol may greatly increase your risk for other health problems.
High cholesterol doesn’t show up on the outside your body, but inside there may be fatty deposits building up or collecting in your blood vessels. Over time, these deposits may build up and restrict the amount of blood your heart is able to pump throughout the body. This could lead to your heart not getting enough oxygen and may eventually lead to a heart attack.
It’s Relatively Easy to Get Your Cholesterol Checked and Treated
High levels of cholesterol can be treated in a variety of ways including changes in diet, beginning a regular exercise routine, medication, or a combination of all of these. The main thing is to get with your doctor and determine your particular cholesterol levels and then make a plan, with your doctor, to make the necessary lifestyle changes.
With the help of a doctor, diet changes, exercise, and medication, it should be relatively simple to get and keep your cholesterol levels within the healthy range. If you have additional risk factors for developing heart disease, such as being overweight or smoking, you need to be extra careful and aware of your low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. This “bad” cholesterol is also known as LDL cholesterol.
The Good, Bad, and Ugly Types of Cholesterol
The “bad” LDL cholesterol is the stuff that builds up on the inside of your arteries and can cause major health problems. This LDL cholesterol may causes restricted blood flow or even blockages that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Just remember that Higher LDL cholesterol means higher risk. The “good” HDL cholesterol actually helps to prevent these blockages, and keeps the arteries flowing. Higher HDL cholesterol generally means lower risk.
Since there are no symptoms of high cholesterol, it’s always best to know your family history and to have a baseline cholesterol test at age 20, or as soon as possible, and then have a test every five years. This baseline cholesterol number will allow you and your doctor to take action before it’s too late. These cholesterol tests may need to be conducted more frequently if you have a family history of abnormally high cholesterol, heart disease, or if your total LDL cholesterol level is abnormally high.
WebMD.com; Cholesterol Health Check
MayoClinic.com; Cholesterol levels: What numbers should you aim for?